VICTORIAN CERTIFICATE OF EDUCATION (VCE)
The Victorian Certificate of Education (VCE) is the certificate that the majority of students in Victoria receive on satisfactory completion of their secondary education. The VCE provides diverse pathways to further study or training at university or TAFE and to employment.
The minimum requirement is satisfactory completion of 16 units, which must include:
• three units from the English group, including a Unit 3–4 sequence
• at least three other sequences of Unit 3–4 studies, which can include further sequences from the English group.
At Williamstown High School, students are required to attempt 12 units in the first year and 10 units in the second year of their VCE studies. All studies are offered and the program for each VCE year is determined by student choice, school
facilities and staff qualifications.
Assessment in the VCE
‘For satisfactory completion of a Victorian Certificate of Education (VCE) unit of study, students must demonstrate their achievement of the set of outcomes as specified in the study design. The decision about the satisfactory completion of outcomes is based on the teacher’s judgment of the student’s overall performance on a combination of set work and assessment tools related to the outcomes. Students should be provided with multiple opportunities to develop and demonstrate the key knowledge and key skills required for the outcomes for the unit. The assessment of levels of achievement is separate from the decision to award an S for satisfactory completion of a unit.’ – VCE and VCAL Administrative Handbook (2021)
• Every Unit has a set of learning outcomes, directly related to the areas of study in that Unit. The subject teacher, who may use a range of assessment methods, assesses them.
• Outcomes are assessed as S (Satisfactory) or N (Not Satisfactory). Each Unit has a number of outcomes and an N for any one of these gives the student an N for the unit. It is from the outcome grades that satisfactory or not satisfactory completion of a unit is determined.
Graded Assessment Tasks
• For students undertaking Units 1–2, there will be a variety of tasks in each unit that will be graded. In addition to this there is a school based examination to be undertaken at the end of each unit. Note that all school based examinations provide students with the opportunity to gain examination experience and provide feedback on their performance.
• For students undertaking Units 3–4, there will be School Assessed Coursework (SAC) and/or School Assessed Tasks (SAT) for each unit. In each study there will be a combination of this school assessed work and examinations, which are assessed directly by the VCAA. Grades will be awarded on the scale A+, A, B+, B, C+, C, D+, D, E+, E, UG or NA.
Please note: All marks and grades awarded by the school are conditional and may change as a result of statistical moderation.
It is from these grades in each study that the VCAA determines the student’s study score which is then used to derive their ATAR.
Calculating the ATAR
The ATAR is calculated by taking the:
• Scaled score in English Units 3–4 or ESL English Units 3–4 or English Language Units 3–4 or Literature Units 3–4
• Next best THREE scaled scores for Unit 3–4sequences
• 10% of any 5th scaled score for a Unit 3–4 sequence
• 10% of any 6th scaled score for a Unit 3–4 sequence
The total score will be used to place each student in a percentile rank, thus forming their ATAR. The highest rank is 99.95. Ranks below 30.00 will be reported as ‘less than 30’. If a student receives a rank of 75.00, it would mean that they had achieved an overall result equal to or better than 75% of the applicants for that year. The rank provided by the ATAR places every student in Victoria along a continuous line from highest (99.95) to lowest (0.00).
The VCE studies that are used to calculate an ATAR are: up to six Unit 3–4 studies from all VCE studies, including some VET certificates.
VOCATIONAL EDUCATION AND TRAINING (VET)
Vocational Education and Training (VET) Certificates are courses of study that are nationally recognised and accredited. VET enables students to gain industry oriented training in preparation for further learning or entry into the workforce (e.g. Certificate III in Music Industry). Most certificate programs run over two years and are made up of a number of Units of Competence.
A VET in Schools program is usually made up of VCE/VET Units that are delivered by an RTO at the student’s school or another school within the Hobsons Bay Cluster.
Contribution to the VCE VET is fully incorporated into the VCE.
Key features include:
- VET programs usually have a Unit 1–4 structure.
- When calculating the aggregate, VCE VET Unit 3 and 4 sequences with a scored assessment are treated in the same way as other Unit 3 and 4 VCE studies.
- VCE VET unscored sequences include the sequence as an increment (the fifth and/or sixth study). The amount of an increment is determined by calculating 10 percent of the fourth study score of your primary four.
Assessment in VET
‘Students receive an S for a Unit of Competency if they have demonstrated competence as assessed by their registered training organisation (RTO). Students receive an S for a module if they have demonstrated achievement of all the learning outcomes as assessed by the RTO. Satisfactory completion of VCE/VET Units is calculated automatically as students satisfactorily complete units of competency/modules. Most VCE/VET programs consist of four VCE/VET Units containing one Units 3–4 sequence.’ – VCE and VCAL Administrative Handbook (2021)
VICTORIAN CERTIFICATE OF APPLIED LEARNING (VCAL)
The Victorian Certificate of Applied Learning (VCAL) is a senior secondary certificate of education recognised within the Australian Qualifications Framework (AQF). VCAL is a pathway to Technical and Further Education (TAFE), university, apprenticeships/traineeships or employment.Students who complete VCAL are likely to be interested in going on to training at TAFE (Technical and Further Education) institutes, doing an apprenticeship or traineeship or getting a job after finishing school.
What are the aims of VCAL?
The qualification aims to provide the skills, knowledge and attributes to enable students to make informed choices about employment and education pathways. Personal development, students’ interests and pathways for senior secondary students, in the context of applied learning, underpin the design of VCAL.
What are the qualifications?
To be awarded a VCAL qualification, students must successfully complete a program that contains a minimum of 10 credits. A credit is gained for successful completion of a unit of study.
A unit of study can be:
- one VCAL unit
- one VCE unit
- 90 hours of completed VET modules or units of competence and/or FE modules.
A student’s VCAL program must include:
- a minimum of two VCAL units
- at least one Literacy unit*
- at least one Numeracy unit*
- at least one unit from the Industry Specific Skills strand. (At the VCAL Intermediate and Senior levels, the learning program must also include accredited VET curriculum components to the value of a minimum of one credit in the Industry Specific Skills strand.)
- at least one unit from the Work Related Skills strand
- at least one unit from the Personal Development Skills strand
- six credits at the VCAL level attempted (Foundation, Intermediate or Senior) or above. One of these credits must be for Literacy and one must be for Personal Development Skills.
Students in Year 10 at Williamstown High School participate in a subject program that include both core and elective subjects. This curriculum program has been designed to meet the diverse educational needs of the students and to provide each student with a stimulating and valuable learning experience.
The program offers a breadth of study across the core curriculum area disciplines whilst allowing students to specialise in areas of interest where they have greater choice. It therefore achieves a balance between the need for a broad general education and a more specific preparation for particular VCE, VET and VCAL studies.
• Students in Year 10 will complete six subjects/electives in each semester:
- All students must undertake English and Maths in each semester; and
- All students must undertake one semester of Core Science
- All students must undertake at least one semester from the Humanities subject electives
• Students have the opportunity to access a VCE unit if they can demonstrate strong academic and organisational skills.
• Home Group will continue as a core subject on the timetable for all students.
Your chosen course should:
• Fulfill the specific requirements of Year 10/VCE/VET/VCAL in the number and range of units required.
• Enable you to successfully complete the VCE/VCAL,
• Provide you with a viable pathway with options and post secondary school choices.
Subject offerings for VCE, VCAL, VET and Year 10 subjects can be found with the Later Years Course Selection Handbook. Please see the link below:
Visit the Williamstown High School careers website for the latest information to help you with decision making about your future career and pathway.
You can use this site to locate University, TAFE and any other type of course across Australia, get information about VCE, access the Calendar of events, the Careers Newsletters and much more. You can also make an appointment with Careers Office or visit the Careers office if you have any questions.